Modern amenities meet an old-style service station at Goldpanner Chevron

Owner Vern Stoner, right, and his son manager Eric Stoner, left, pose behind the service counter at Goldpanner Chevron on Cushman Street Thursday afternoon, November 1, 2018. Photo: Eric Engman

From the Daily News-Miner: FAIRBANKS – In an age of convenience store gas stations that rarely even provide an air hose to fill a leaking tire, Goldpanner Chevron is the kind of gas and service station quickly disappearing from the American landscape. Located on Cushman Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, the station has been providing honest, efficient, quality vehicle repairs and service for more than 50 years.

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Tucked away in his tiny office at the heart of the busy station Thursday afternoon, owner Vern Stoner discussed his role as “the friendly neighborhood mechanic” to the people of Fairbanks.

“We get generations of families coming here. Parents, their kids and now the grandkids. It’s cool. That’s a by-product of being here so long,” Stoner said, noting the station also gets a lot of word-of-mouth business. “We do what we can and do it as fair as we can, and if it’s stuff we can’t handle, we’ll try and send you to the right place.”

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A NYC shop owner says his artisan-made neon signs are more popular now than in the 1970s

From Quartz: You’ve probably seen work done by Let There Be Neon without knowing it. Their neon signs grace the storefronts of Sweetgreen, WeWork, and SoulCycle across the US.

Though Let There Be Neon has been around since the early 1970s, business has been booming particularly for the past 12 years (the company declined to share more specific revenue information with Quartz). “Things have been crazy busy. We can’t make it fast enough, that’s the truth,” Jeff Friedman, the company’s owner says. Part of the reason, he suspects, is that people have a new appreciation for handmade objects in an age when digitally-enabled fabrication has made consumer goods cookie-cutter and ubiquitous. “Neon’s funny because it’s such an old-school type of medium. We’ve tried to bridge the gap between the old and the new,” he tells Quartz.

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25 Breathtaking Photos Of Historic Relics Along Route 66

From Hotcars: There really isn’t a road in the United States that better epitomizes the glory days of America and the Golden Age of motoring than Route 66, nothing that even compares to this legendary highway known around the globe. In its heyday, Route 66 was truly the heart of a nation, families drove along its length in droves, cars by the dozens flocked into restaurants, hotels, and gift shops all along its length. The more it grew in popularity, iconic businesses popped up in virtually every town along its length.

Sadly, the current state of Route 66 today is a far cry from what it once was. This sort of thing didn’t happen gradually, either. In fact, in just one night it seemed that the route was deserted. Why?

The construction of a major interstate nearby, Interstate 40, superseded the old path of Route 66. Once it was completed, a vast majority of Route 66 was rendered obsolete, and business dried up as if overnight. The road was decommissioned in 1985. This event is really just the beginning of what would become a trend across all of America, the results of which we see today.

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Marvelous Mystery is Louisville’s answer to iconic roadside attractions

Will Russell’s The Marvelous Mystery, on Barrett Ave., in Louisville. Nov. 29, 2018. Photo: By Pat McDonogh, Courier Journal

From the Courier Journal: The Marvelous Mystery is part amusement park, part retail store and 100 percent the product of an obsession with America’s history of roadside attractions.

The Baxter Avenue store — where you can buy a whoopie cushion, take a stroll in the Vortex Tunnel or visit the Room of Unusual Size — is a tribute to childlike wonder and has an origin story that goes back more than 20 years.

It all started when a young Will Russell was on a road trip with his dad, Bill, and as they crossed through West Virginia they came upon a roadside attraction called the Mystery Hole and … well, let’s just let Russell tell the story.

“We were winding through the foothills of the mountains of wild, wonderful West Virginia, listening to Steely Dan ‘Gold,’ which is all we did. It was a bonding trip with my dad, and my dad’s a great guy. Everyone knows it.

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Vintage diner with lots of history waits for new owner at local salvage yard

From Tristate: An old diner once filled with laughter, milkshakes and cheeseburgers now sits in an Evansville salvage yard … [In] case you’re wondering how much a diner goes for these days — the price is $35,000.

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